Milton Keynes Council

Milton Keynes Council
Third of council elected three years out of four

Coat of arms
Term limits
Founded 1 April 1974
Steve Coventry
Leader of the Council
Cllr Peter Marland, The Labour Party
Since May 2014
Carole Mills
Seats 57 councillors
22 / 57
22 / 57
13 / 57

Milton Keynes Council is the local authority of the Borough of Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, England. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. Milton Keynes is divided into 19 wards, electing 57 councillors. Milton Keynes is reported as one of the nation's best places to do business, and its council has ambitious plans for continued economic development and growth. As of the summer of 2013, Milton Keynes became part of the Key Cities Group which is a group for cities who play a key role in their regional economy; centres of innovation, production, and trade.


The council was formed by the Local Government Act 1972 as the Milton Keynes District Council. The current local authority was first elected in 1973, a year before formally coming into its powers and prior to the creation of the District of Milton Keynes on 1 April 1974. The council gained borough status, entitling it to be known as Milton Keynes Borough Council and to annually appoint a Mayor of Milton Keynes.

It was envisaged through the Local Government Act 1972 that Milton Keynes as a non-metropolitan district council would share power with the Buckinghamshire County Council. This arrangement lasted until 1997 when the district council gained responsibility for services that had been provided within Milton Keynes by the county council. Since gaining county council functions the council has gone by the name Milton Keynes Council.

Powers and functions

The local authority derives its powers and functions from the Local Government Act 1972 and subsequent legislation. For the purposes of local government, Milton Keynes is within a non-metropolitan area of England. In its capacity as a district council it is a billing authority collecting Council Tax and business rates, it processes local planning applications, it is responsible for housing, waste collection and environmental health. In its capacity as a county council it is a local education authority, responsible for social services, libraries and waste disposal. The council also appoints members to Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Authority and the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel.

Political control

Further information: Milton Keynes local elections

One third of the council is elected each year for three years, followed by one year without election. Since 1996 political control of the council has been held by the following parties:[1]

Party in control Years
Labour 1996–2000
No overall control 2000–2002
Liberal Democrats 2002–2006
No overall control 2006–present

Since May 2014, the Labour Party has held office as a minority administration.

A Smart City

Milton Keynes Council is part of a project called MK:Smart which aims to transform Milton Keynes into one of the world’s ‘smart cities’ – a model for how information technology and data analytics can be used to drive sustainable growth. The project aims to capitalise on the 21st century phenomenon of ‘big data’ to develop new and smarter ways of managing key infrastructure such as transport, water and energy supplies.

One of these projects is the LUTZ Pathfinder Pods which forms part of the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC). TSC is working with Milton Keynes Council to realise the potential of autonomous (self-driving) vehicles: trials of the pods are due to start in 2015.[2]


  1. "Milton Keynes". BBC News Online. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  2. Burn-Callander, Rebecca (11 February 2015). "This is the Lutz pod, the UK's first driverless car". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
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